Saturday, July 5, 2014

Six Things That Walk That Ought To Crawl...


Great holes secretly are digged where earth’s pores ought to suffice, and things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl...
The Festival
H. P. Lovecraft


Everyone knows that those who walk into one of the Black Zones don't always come back out again. Many of these places are not only cordoned-off, they often are surrounded by mounds of blackened and blasted bones where gibbering idiots squat who lack the will or the ability to go any farther and who can never really go back either. They are like stunted, botched larval forms of something that will never be...

Those that do return from these strange places are often changed in horrific ways. Some have suffered terrible injuries or are strangely debilitated, others come back prematurely aged or grotesquely disfigured, still others are never quite themselves ever again. Sanity is a fluid, ephemeral quality that tends to evaporate all too readily in these spaces, and one's identity can be damaged, modified, even replaced by the things encountered on the shattered fringes of life and death. But there are other things that come out from the Black Zones...things like these...



  1. It lopes from out of the flickering shadows. Wrapped in soiled and tattered rags...then you realize it isn't alone...

    Raggedy Things (2d4/4d6) [AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6[13], HD 3, #AT 2, DG 1d4/1d4, SV F2, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Has a 50% chance to resist Charm or Sleep spells. All slashing/piercing damage is reduced by 50%, blunt weapons do normal damage, all magical weapons actually heal it by 1 hit point. Fire and spells do double normal damage, but also affect a 10' radius around the Raggedy Thing. These things tend to mob one victim at a time.] It's just a bunch of rags...

  2. Click. Clack. Scritch. Something wicked, possibly hoofed, is coming this way...what is that? Furniture?!?

    Vicious Credenza (1) [AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 4[15], HD 4, #AT 1, DG 3d6, SV F4, ML 12 (Vicious), Special: It slams its victims into the ground and then attempts to crush them into a bloody pulp. It can attack up to three opponents simultaneously, if they are grouped close together. Once it knocks an opponent down it will settle on top of them, gaining a +4 bonus to hit for double damage if it is allowed to remain in place. It requires a combined STR of 26 to overturn the thing, but if it is overturned, it is immobilized for 1d4 hours.] Note: A Vicious Credenza usually contains a mix of trash and loot similar to a typical chest or trunk.

  3. You hear glass breaking. There it is again. And again. It's getting closer...

    Shatterglass Swarm (1) [AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 6[13], HD 3 to 7, #AT 1, DG 1d6, SV F3 to 7, ML 12 (Implacable), Special: Unaffected by mind influencing effects like Charm, Sleep or visual illusions, sees invisible, light-based attacks do half-damage and have a 30% chance to reflect back at the attacker.] It is a serpentine mass of broken glass shards from one or more mirrors and windows. It slithers towards you leaving a trail of fine grit and needle-sharp bits of glass behind it. The thing tries to bite chunks out of its victims, but lacking any sort of internal digestive system, it leaves the bloody pieces of flesh lying all over the place...

  4. Six Skulls. They appear to be fused together somehow. Moving towards you. As they pass out of the shadows you can see that the skulls are lodged within some sort of translucent slime...

    Skull-bearing Clear-Slime (1d4) [AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 48[11], HD 6, #AT 1d6*, DG 1d4 per bite, SV F5, ML 12 (Insane), Special: Immune to acid, Charm or Sleep spells. Clerics can Turn/Destroy them as 9HD creatures. The Clear-Slime causes anything affected by it to suffer 2d4 damage per round when exposed to sunlight, requiring a Cure Disease/Remove Curse to eliminate the effect. *The Skulls float freely within the Clear-Slime, but are one unit and can only bring one or two mouths to bear on any one opponent, unless it can somehow squeeze in-between multiple targets. Each attack after the first one incurs a cumulative -1 penalty To Hit, so the sixth skull rarely succeeds, which is a source of some frustration to it...]

  5. Skinless and shameless she strides from out of the Black Zone with a writhing spinal-column staff in her hands, her eyes replaced with bitter iron orbs...and her legs are swirling masses of chittering, snapping undead insect husks...

    Sheedra Miskaan (1) [AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 7[12], HD 5, #AT 1, DG 1d6 or by spell, SV MU5, ML 10, Special: Sheedra regenerates 1 hit point per every 6 points of non-magical damage inflicted on her. She casts the following spells once per day: Animate Necrotic Tissue, Appreciation of True WeirdnessAssault of Chaos, Black Touch, Breathless and Unexplainable Dread, Cerebral Conception, Ectoplasmic Wall, Literary Incandescence, Malign Thought Emanation, Umbral Maiming, and Vistas of Unplumbed Space. She can be Turned/Destroyed as a 10HD creature.] Sheedra has come far for a once disgraced mercenary with no aptitude for sorcery. Her pact with certain Insectile Horrors she encountered within the Black Zone has changed everything...

  6. The soft sounds of someone crying echo from within the darkness. At first you might be inclined to ignore the sounds. You've probably heard plenty of not-so-clever things try to lure the unwary into the shadows with such a ploy. But there's something different about this...

    Weeping Shadow (1d4) [AL N, MV 90' (30'), AC 7[12], HD 3, #AT 1, DG 1d4 (Special), SV F1, ML 4, Special: A very minor shadow, it is not fully undead, nor is it truly alive either; it is stuck in-between. This thing has a 30% chance to resist Charm or Sleep spells. It drains 1 point of STR on any attack roll of 18 or better To Hit, the drain persists for 1d4 hours. Anyone reduced to zero STR in this manner is left in a coma for 3d6 weeks during which time magical healing has no effect on them, after which they recover normally, but suffer a permanent loss of 1 STR point and have a permanent -1 penalty on all Saves against undead/necromantic effects.] It is elusive, seeking to run away and will only attack if cornered...


Not only is this something of an Invasive Species post, it plays off of a quote used by Moebius Adventures in kicking off last month's RPG Blog Carnival as well...so it's a sort of Lovecraftian two-fer...

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